Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Grand Plan

Before we get into it -- we had an appointment last evening at 6 to meet our prospective landlords. We biked up the road and knocked on the door, only to find them not present. Present instead were an older woman, a young woman, and three little girls, being odd and end family members. The two we were to meet had run off to Boston, a friend having gone into very early labor. So, perhaps later today we shall try again.

Anyhow -- the rules, with notes.

  • 24 hour dish rule; preferably ASAP.
  • Last cookie rule -- Fish gets last tasty thing, as Bicycle has likely had his fair share by that point.
  • All food fair game unless labeled. (We plan to buy all food and other household good in common, so it shall be assumed that it all belongs to both of us unless noted.)
  • Bicycle does household neatness scan at night; Fish in morning.
  • Bicycle takes out garbage; Fish puts away dishes. (As we both detest doing the other thing.)
  • Fish takes care of bugs instead of asking Bicycle to do it; Bicycle tries to keep bugs out of house. (I think bugs do not belong in the house, Bicycle doesn't much care.)
  • Chores, rotated weekly: Bathroom & Hallway and Kitchen & Living Room. [Below is an exacting exposition of what cleaning each room entails. I don't want to type it, and I don't think anyone cares that much.]
  • Fish takes in mail; Bicycle empties gunk catcher in sink drain. (I'm a big proponent of garbage disposals in sinks, but we won't have one; I think that thing that keeps bits of food from going down the grain is just about the grossest thing in the world.)
  • Chores and large cooking projects, such as canning or baking bread, are done on Sundays. If not possible on a Sunday, cleaning will be done either immediately before or as soon after as possible.
  • Weekly dinner cooking: Bicycle cooks Monday & Wednesday; Fish cooks Tuesday and Thursday. Dinner will be served between 5:30 and 7 pm. The cooker also cleans pots and pans, counters, etc. Each person washes own dishes.
  • A shelf in the fridge will be designated for leftovers, which should be eaten promptly.
  • We will sleep in our own rooms except for weekends, holidays, emergencies, or special occasions.
  • Bicycle will be conscious of the small messes he makes -- crumbs, beard trimmings, etc. (He's a bit of a messy eater, for example, and has the masculine habit of not noticing, say, toast crumbs all over a table cloth.)
  • Fish will not rely upon Bicycle for social life.
  • We must give each other advance notice of house guests. (A few minutes is all that is necessary, not days or anything like that. I'd like to be dressed and with a tidy place when someone shows up.)

Many of these may seem either silly, or like they don't need to be stated. I'll tell you though, in my experience with cooperative living, setting out explicit rules well in advance is one of the keys to success.

There are also three specific pitfalls that we are trying to avoid -- that I am neater and more organized than Bicycle, and our ways of keeping a house livable are different, as I avoid making messes and clean as I go and he lets things get to catastrophic levels and then spends days scrubbing, and that all makes me nuts in the meantime; whereas already Bicycle has a higher libido than I do, living together is likely to compound the difference; and since I work at home and most of my classmates are not peers, and Bicycle has the automatic web of friends and acquaintances that come with being an undergrad, I may come to depend on him for socializing.

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